Thursday, January 19, 2012

Carl Van Doren

"What I have referred to as the gift of faith I do not, to be exact, regard as a gift. I regard it, rather, as a survival from an earlier stage of thinking and feeling; in short as a form of superstition. It… seems to me negative. It denies reason."
Why I am an Unbeliever

"That some revealed doctrine has lasted for ages and has met the needs of many generations proves that it is the kind of doctrine that endures and satisfies, but not that it is divine."

"There is no moral obligation to believe what is unbelievable."


"Godless the pathway you tread which leads to the Science of Nature as to the highroad of sin."
De Rerum Natura

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

George Elliot

"Given, a man of moderate intellect, a moral standard not higher than the average, some rhetorical affluence and great glibness of speech, what is the career in which, without the aid of birth or money, he may most easily attain power and reputation? Let such a man become an evangelical preacher; he will find it possible to reconcile small ability with great ambition, superficial knowledge with the prestige of erudition, a middling morale with a high reputation for sanctity." Evangelical Teaching

"Like the writer of imaginary conversations, he may put whatever imbecilities he pleases into the mouths of his antagonists, and swell with triumph when he has refuted them." Ibid

Percy Bysshe Shelley

"From the fitness of the Universe to its end you infer the necessity of an intelligent creator. But if the fitness of the Universe, to produce certain effects, be thus conspicuous and evident, how much more exquisite fitness to his end must exist in the Author of this Universe?"
A Refutation of Deism

"There is no attribute of God which is not either borrowed from the passions and the powers of the human mind, or which is not a negation."

"If we found our belief in God on the universal consent of mankind, we are duped by the most palpable of sophisms. The word God cannot mean at the same time an ape, a snake, a bone, a calabash, a Trinity, and a unity."

Omar Khayyam

"Did Got set grapes a-growing, do you think?
And at the same time make it sin to drink?"

David Hume

"Nothing is more destructive to them than a manly, steady virtue, which either preserves us from disastrous, melancholy accidents, or teaches us to bear them. During such calm sunshine of the mind, these spectres of false divinity never make their appearance… Barbarity, caprice; these qualities, however nominally disguised, we may universally observe, form the ruling character of the deity in popular religions." - 'The Natural History of Religion'